#WIPvember · crochet · knitting · Lifestyle

WIPVember – Halfway Progress…

I can’t believe how quickly the last two and a half weeks have gone… and I am blown away by the amount of people who are participating in WIPvember. It is incredible!

I wanted to check in, and let you see how I’ve been progressing towards my goals for WIPvember. I have been a bit AWOL the last week for a few reasons… Last weekend I spent Saturday with Fay in Liverpool Central Library (One of my absolute favourite places)  looking through everyone’s posts for WIPvember and drafting some design ideas, and spent the evening looking after my Mother-in-laws dogs.

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William Brown Street, Liverpool

Sunday we had a family day and after walking the dogs around Marbury Park, we took them home and enjoyed a lovely roast dinner. I managed to do a lot of crocheting last weekend but unfortunately didn’t manage to catch the day light to take photos of the progress I’d made. (Apart from the blanket – but I will share that below…) Are you finding it difficult to capture content for instagram now that it is dark in the mornings and evenings? I’m finding I have to take several photos on the weekends to make sure I have content mid-week. (Something I obviously didn’t do last weekend as you can see from my IG) Oh dear! 

This week, I spent the first two evenings working on a Love Charlie pattern that I want to release before the end of the year, and the rest of the week I have either had plans, or been too exhausted to pick up a hook or needle. Work has been absolutely crazy this last week, and I haven’t managed to get any time during a lunch break to make any progress either… What a nightmare! But last night I got in a few hours, and today too… and tomorrow we’re having a movie day, so I’ll hopefully make a fair bit of progress then.

Anyway… to recap, here are my goals for the whole of November.

WIP-vember

  1. Finish Granny Square blanket.
  2. Complete 2 colour repeats on Cosy Stripe Blanket
  3. Finish Criss Cross Shawl
  4. Start & finish treasure Island Shawl
  5. Make arms & legs of ginger cat
  6. Make my Candy Cane socks.

The first thing I did in WIPvember was finish Katie’s Christmas Socks. Originally, I wanted to finish these as my second pair of socks for the #sockalong2018 but I ran out of time. I did however manage to finish these in the first week of WIPvember.

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I then started the Mustard Treasure Island Shawl, and my second Candy Cane sock… I was waiting on another sock needle so I could make both at the same time.  These have become my lunch time projects as they’re small and easy to get on with. 

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Once  I had finished Katie’s Christmas socks, I started working on my Granny Square blanket. I started by joining all of the 64 squares into 8-square strips. I managed to do this in an evening, and spent the next week joining the strips and adding an extremely simple border on it. This blanket used up stash acrylic in pastel colours, and it is the first blanket that I have constructed randomly. I didn’t arrange the squares before joining them, I just reached for the next one each time and added it in. Although this sounds like a simple task, it was a huge leap of faith for me as I am a bit (a lot) of a control freak and like things to be perfect. Thoughts: It saved a lot of time, however if the colours were more contrasting between squares, I think I would have laid them out first. 

I finished the Treasure Island shawl on Monday night. I don’t have enough good words for this pattern. It is my go-to pattern when I want another shawl or to make someone a gift. It is simple, easy to make, and designed by a fantastic person – Hannah from @thecozycottagecrochet This is in acrylic Stylecraft special DK in Gold, and is for one of my best friends. I chose acrylic so it is more durable and can be thrown in the washing machine easily. 

Last night, I made some limbs :’) I made two arms, two legs and a tail for the amigurumi ginger cat. This is already more progress than I planned for my WIPvember goal, but for now I’m going to put this WIP to the side to make time for my cosy stripe blanket and Criss Cross Shawl. 

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I think we may be going to watch Bohemian Rhapsody or the new Fantastic Beasts at the cinema this weekend so that’s exciting! And we’ve just started binge watching Killing Eve, so I think there will be a lot of progress soon. Next weekend I am out in Liverpool, but I may get chance to blog on Sunday (Unless I convince Katie to let me put the tree up early) How are you getting on with your WIPvember goals? I’m heading over to Instagram right now. I think I’ve got some catching up to do! 

Lots of love to you all, and I hope you’re having a nice weekend with plenty of crocheting and knitting. (Or any other craft!)

Love Charlie, Xx

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Just stop for a moment…

How taking a break can boost your creativity!

So, last weekend it was my partner’s birthday and I arranged a surprise for her. A 1-night stay at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. Somewhere we had both wanted to stay for a few years. She had absolutely no idea, until we practically turned into the car park (suitcase packed unknowingly in the boot of the car). After checking in with huge smiles on our faces, we got a taxi to the Albert Docks and proceeded to eat and drink merrily at Gusto’s before doing a little bit of shopping and returning to the hotel quite tipsy!

gustos

Getting to the point though… Things have been quite (extremely) hectic for us over the last year. What with losing Gran, moving house, renovating a house, changing jobs, having PCOS, and an appendectomy, Katie’s Ulcerative Colitis and flare ups, her promotion and busy work life… etc. etc. So we were in desperate need for a break, despite counting down to our weeks stay-cation at the end of August.

bed

Taking just 24 hours to concentrate on ourselves and each other was like pressing a re-set button. For Katie, she managed to stop thinking about work for a few hours, and you could see a weight lifted in her eyes. For me, it was a nice treat after spending time in Doctors waiting rooms, a hospital bed, and being trapped in the house recovering. For us, it did the world of good and I think we reminded ourselves that there is so much more to life than work and daily chores. We also remembered how much we love this city.

docks

Everything about our afternoon in Liverpool was perfect! The sun was shining, the food was delicious and we indulged far too much, stretching our bellies to capacity, shopping and spending more money than was necessary…

I bought a small A6 journal and fountain pen from Paperchase so I have a notebook to design and write new crochet patterns in – this is working out very well so far, and it’s so small I can put it in whichever handbag/project bag I have with me. It’s so annoying when you get an idea that’s so good you don’t want to forget it but have nowhere to write it down. And in some ways, I’m an old-fashioned technophobe and prefer to write things down rather than key them into my phone.

rum

I was so shocked by how organising just one night away as a surprise for Katie’s birthday benefited us both so much. The afternoon we got home, we were both so exhausted and (a little bit) hungover. [Blame Stanley’s Rum Bar] But the next day my mind was refreshed and I had so many pattern ideas. I finished two dish cloths (click here for free pattern) and worked on my Virus Shawl which is now finally complete, and blocking as we speak… (or read) And I also made some progress on my tapestry horse blanket. I am so motivated to carry on doing what I want to do, and there’s been so much support online. I can’t thank you all enough.

chairs

Finally, I’m going to talk about Imposter Syndrome which Emma Houghton talks about in her most recent blog post over at Blue Ammonite Designs. Imposter Syndrome, as Emma tells us, is how you feel no ‘right’ to do what you do because you may not be as experienced as you think you should be. I can really relate to this, and it got me thinking. Making the decision to follow your dreams (cheesy I know) is daunting and I find it slightly embarrassing to put my work out there for fear what people will think. Not only am I young (23… is that young?) but I also don’t even have 5 years under my belt in terms of crochet experience.  I feel as though I am throwing ideas into a vast pool of knowledge where there is always going to be someone who has done it already, and most certainly better than me. But on the other having read the advice of many successful people, a lot stick to the term ‘fake it till you make it’ so perhaps everyone feels like an imposter when they first start out. I just feel that if I don’t give it a go – I’ll never know if I could have done it, and I’d never know how far I can take it. I don’t want to deny myself the chance to succeed. So I’m going to carry on no matter how ridiculous I feel, or how scary it is. I’m writing my own path, and hopefully it’s going to lead somewhere beautiful one day.

Enough of the spiritual revelations! Hahaa…

I’ll be publishing another free crochet pattern in the next week so watch this space…

Love Charlie, Xx